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How Do I Get My Board On-Board with Fundraising?

Nadia Prescott

Let’s face it, board members typically don’t like fundraising! But it’s a very important part of their role, especially if you are small organization with no development staff. If you are lucky, you will have one or two people with some fundraising experience on your board to help lead the effort. If not, you will need to set this as priority and get your board educated so they become active partners in ensuring the financial health of your organization

For both start-up and mature organizations, there are a number of ways to get your board members involved with fundraising that don’t require making phone calls or visiting donors in-person. You can start slowly by following two simple steps:

  • Ensure board members attend all planned fundraising events. Arrange for them to meet the individuals whose lives have been positively impacted by your organization so they can be inspired to do more.
  • Use board meetings as a platform for hearing directly from board members about what inspires them about your organization. Invite them to tell their story about why they joined your organization and what they hope to accomplish. You’ll get some amazing answers and generate a lot of energy that will help you motivate fundraising involvement.

What many board members often don’t understand is how to use information they learn from clients, each other and their own personal journey to make fundraising less onerous and more rewarding. They tend to think of fundraising as something separate versus an opportunity to speak passionately about your organization’s mission, successes, and why they joined your board in the first place. If you can help them make this leap, your ability to engage your board in raising money will be easier and your board will be more enthusiastic participants in the fundraising efforts. It’s win- win.

There are several tools and strategies you can provide to your board to support their engagement in successful fundraising (see February, April and June newsletters for suggestions). To learn more about how to get your board involved in fundraising, visit to www.emergingexecutive.com/resources and download the webinar on Fundraising Planning. It’s one in a series of useful and simple to understand webinars designed to give you an overview of how to maximize your fundraising strategies.